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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek November 4, 2021

Australian state isn’t freezing unvaccinated people’s bank accounts

If Your Time is short

• The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has been criticized for strict regulations to contain the spread of COVID-19, including vaccination requirements for various types of gatherings and venues.

• The claim about freezing bank accounts is unsubstantiated.

The leader of Victoria, a small state in southern Australia, has been criticized for imposing strict COVID-19 regulations, including mask mandates and vaccination requirements for indoor weddings, funerals, hair salons and restaurants.

But a claim about Premier Daniel Andrews applying financial penalties to pressure people to get vaccinated isn’t true. 

"Australia PM of Victoria is freezing people’s bank accts who haven't had the V, they can’t buy or sell until forced into submission," an Oct. 31 Facebook post reads. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We found no evidence to support the claim that Andrews is freezing the bank accounts of unvaccinated people to pressure them to get vaccinated. A search for news clips turned up only similar unsubstantiated claims shared on sites like Reddit and Twitter. Government websites don’t mention any such action or proposal.

Andrews’ office did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment.

Andrews has been described as responsible for imposing "some of the most stringent pandemic-control measures on Earth." 

When COVID cases surged in Victoria in July 2020, Andrews sent the capital, Melbourne, into one of the world’s longest lockdowns. Although there were a range of restrictions in a four-stage system, some of the restrictions in Victoria included

The state has said it would relax the rules as more people got vaccinated. 

On Oct. 29, Victoria reached a vaccination milestone: 80% of its residents aged 16 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The achievement meant some restrictions were relaxed, and businesses such as gyms, retailers and entertainment venues could reopen to fully vaccinated customers. 

The state is still working to achieve a 90% vaccination rate for anyone ages 12 or older.

Misinformation about Andrews’ plans for unvaccinated Victorians has been fact-checked in the past. For example, ABC Fact Check debunked the claim that Andrews planned to "strip Medicare coverage" from the unvaccinated.

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that the premier of Victoria, Australia, is freezing the bank accounts of unvaccinated people to pressure them to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

We found no evidence to support this claim.

We rate this post False.

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Australian state isn’t freezing unvaccinated people’s bank accounts

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